Reviews

TV Series Review: Once Upon A Time S07E01 Hyperion Heights

Honestly, I was soooo skeptical about watching this episode. For me, the last episode of Season 6 was a perfect ending for a series. I thought that it was better to end the series that way. So, for everyone who thought the same way I did, I suggest that you give this episode a chance.

Henry left Storybrooke to find his own story. He was warned by Regina that he only has one magic bean so getting back to Storybrooke would be difficult but for Henry difficult means an adventure. With this, I got the sense that the series will offer something brand new. Honestly, I was getting tired after six seasons of OUAT but I guess something refreshing awaits in this new season.

What Happened in the Episode

A New Realm

Years after Henry left Storybrooke, he meets another Cinderella with a twist in her story. Instead of falling in love with prince, she actually wants to kill him. She was really close to doing so but changed her mind. Unfortunately, her stepmother killed the prince and blamed it on her. Henry rescues her and asks her to meet him in the place where they first met. That’s where the portal will open. Henry was actually aiming to go back to Storybrooke through a portal that would appear only at midnight.

Present Time

In the present time, it is shown that Henry is living an unsuccessful and uneventful life. After publishing one successful book, he has trouble starting the next one. One day, he gets a knock on his door and a little girl is claiming that she’s her kid but Henry insists he does not have one. Kid steals his laptop so he has to check out Hyperion Heights to find it. There he meets Jacinda (who was actually Cinderella) and he seems enchanted by her. However, he has no memory of ever meeting her. They both have “curse memories” and forgot their original lives. Henry also meets Victoria Belfrey (Cinderella’s stepmom) who seems to be the main villain. Belfrey wants to tear down the street and remodel Hyperion Heights. Hook, Regina, and Rumplestilskin are also in Hyperion Heights but like Henry, they seem to have no memory of their original lives.

Episode Ends

The episode ends with Henry arriving to the place he and Cinderella first meets but Cinderella wasn’t there. The portal opens but Henry notices that a glass slipper is lying on the ground. He takes this as a sign and chooses not to leave the realm.

My Opinion

With these new characters, I think that Once Upon A Time has a chance to be wonderful again.Well, as long as they don’t drag it out again. The reboot, so far, looks interesting so I guess I’d stick around for the season.

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Bride of the Water God

This drama centers around Habaek (Nam Joo Hyuk), a water God who was born to become the King of the Realm of Gods. In order to assume his throne, he must retrieve the God Stones from the guardians in the human realm. Upon arriving in the human realm, Habaek loses the coordinates of the location of the guardian deities and he mysteriously loses his power as well. In order to survive the human realm, he must now rely to the descendant of the family who promised to serve the gods- Yoon So Ah (Shin Se Kyung).

Review

Bride of the Water God is a drama that I really waited for. Loving Nam Joo Hyuk in his previous roles in Weightlifting Fairy and Scarlet Heart Ryeo, I was waiting for his next project. The premise of the drama also caught my interest since I really tend to love fantasy dramas.

At the beginning, the drama heavily reminded of another TVN fantasy drama- Goblin. However, unlike Goblin, Bride of the Water God failed to connect with me. It was very hard for me to relate with Yoon So Ah and Habaek.  There were a few episodes, though, that I liked this drama. On Episodes 5-8, the plot thickens and the characters are evolving. You’re getting to know more of them and mysteries arise. I saw that this drama has a lot of potential, however, the drama failed to reach it.

Maybe I failed to connect with the drama because of the acting. Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung looked unnatural for me. Their acting looked distant and stiff. For me, they weren’t able to convince the viewers that they are their characters especially in the heavy scenes.

Another problem of the drama, for me,  is that answers to mysteries are not really that interesting. Insignificant names kept popping up. Some people are important for revelations but the show failed to give any hints at all. Still, the plot twist at the end is great though. It sort of redeemed the drama for me. The drama had a beautiful ending.

The drama had a lot of cute scenes too. Nam Joo Hyuk still got the charms. I think more playful roles suit him than a serious deity. I also loved the character Shin Hu Ye. The complexity of his character is one of the highlights of this drama. I also really liked the other supporting characters Moo Ra and Bi Ryeom. I was looking forward to their romantic story than Habaek and Yoon So Ah.

Overall, this drama wasn’t as great as I expected it to be. There was some nice parts but there are also lots of boring parts.

Netflix Originals Review: Marvel’s The Defenders

I am one of those people who were very excited when the Defenders Trailer came out.  I really enjoyed Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. I was quite disappointed with Iron Fist though so I’m not really fond of Danny Rand. However, the possibility of seeing these four together brought out a different kind of excitement in me. I haven’t felt this way since the Avengers assembled.

I was really thrilled with the first half of the show. Every encounter is exciting and every fight is just awesome. I also liked the encounters between the defenders especially Jessica making fun of the Daredevil suit. I really loved Elektra in this show too. I was always looking forward for her every move. I know there’s more to her than what it’s shown and I got what I expected from her in the end.

However, the second half sort of disappointed me. Their encounters seemed redundant and the characters became predictable. Also, the merging of the four shows meant that other characters from the show were left in the background. The remarkable characters like Karen, Trish and Malcolm were really underutilized. I can’t blame the show though, with its eight episodes, not much can happen.

Overall, the show was thrilling. I guess I would have loved the show if I don’t love each character. I really think that the Defenders had more potential but it was not able to achieve it.

Movie Review: 100 Tula Para Kay Stella (100 Poems for Stella)

100 Tula Para Kay Stella is a Filipino film, an official entry to the Pista ng Pelikulang Filipino.

100 Tula Para Kay Stella is about the lives of Stella and Fidel and the love and friendship between them. Fidel has a speech defect wherein he stutters whenever he talks in long sentences which he makes him shy and less confident with himself. Stella, on the other hand, is a rocker chic who dreams of being a famous recording artist. Even with their personalities very different, the two develop a strong friendship. Unknowingly to Stella, Fidel starts to fall in love with her and starts writing poems for her. However, he doesn’t seem to have the courage to give it to her. Will he be able to give the poems and confess his love before it’s too late?

At the very beginning, I know that this movie will be different from the rest. Every scene has a different feel on it. The movie starts with a light-hearted mood which made me assume that this will be a cute light-hearted story about friendship that will eventually progress to love. And for people who were teenagers at the early 2000s, this movie will bring nostalgia. I was a little kid back then but now I saw how teenagers that time interact and live.

I also knew from the very start that this movie will not have an ending most of us would expect. And I was right. It was an ending I did not expect from Stella. I’ve overheard conversations after the moving saying that they did not like the ending but for me, it’s a very beautiful ending. The ending shows the reality of life. It might break people’s fantasy but we just have to accept that fate may not be on our side.

JC Santos and Bela Padilla, for me, are perfect for this role. Bela is indeed very beautiful and her face has so much sincerity. JC was able to give off a shy boy type vibe even when he’s very good-looking. Their acting was believable which makes it remarkable for me.

Overall, the movie for me is close to perfection. I was deeply moved by every scene. I laughed with them and cried with them too. I was immersed in their lives. I also rooted for the shy boy in love with a tough girl. I highly recommend this movie for all the hopeless romantic, however, please prepare to get your heart broken.

Korean Drama Review: Coffee Prince

Coffee Prince is about Go Eun Chan(Yoon Eun-Hye) who has to pretend that she’s a boy in order to get a job and Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo), her boss who starts to fall for her even when he thinks she’s a boy.

Even if it’s already been ten years after this drama aired, Coffee Prince is still one of the most highly recommended Korean drama which made me very intrigued about this drama. I also remember all the hype this drama received when it first aired a long time ago. With all the love this drama received, I had very high expectations about this drama.

First, I would like to talk about things I liked about this drama. I’ve always liked light-hearted romantic comedy korean dramas. They are very enjoyable to watch and easy on the heart. You’ll find yourself smiling with the characters. I really liked the friendly banters here, it’s quite realistic.

I’m also quite impressed with how Yoon Eun-Hye pulled off playing this tomboy-ish character. Like her character in Goong which is one of my favorite korean dramas, Go Eun-Chan’s character is that of a very cheerful young woman who lights up the room and the lives of people around her. Her character here is very family-oriented as well. Yoon Eun-Hye was adorable but for me, it’s Gong Yoo’s acting that stands out. I can’t describe it either but his acting has a way of moving me. I forget that he’s just acting and I just seen Han Kyul in the screen. For me, he’s one of the best actors out there.

The best part of this drama for me is Lee Sun-Gyun’s Choi Han Seong and Chae Jung-Ahn’s Han Yoo Joo. Even when the characters of Han Kyul and Eun Chan are interesting, it’s Han Seong and Yoo Joo’s relationship I looked forward too. They had a mature relationship with real problems that I rarely see in korean dramas that I’m always looking forward to their every scene. I really rooted for a happy ending for them, even more than the main leads.

Even when I enjoyed the drama and kind of liked it, I’m probably one of the very few people who didn’t love it. I wasn’t able to see the magic that keeps other people hooked in this drama. It took me a long time to actually finish watching because I wasn’t interested in what happens next. I always put off watching the next episode because I don’t really want to start. I guess it has something to do with the pace. This drama is very slow-paced that it was boring for me. I also felt like the supporting characters (the coffee princes) had so much potential that are wasted. I liked them from the start and I really think that these characters could have been utilized more. I also think that the ending was too underwhelming.

Overall, this drama is not one of those that gives me an “I don’t want this drama to end” feeling. I was actually glad that I finally finished it. There were parts that are very lovable but I didn’t see the charm everybody sees. Maybe one day, I’ll try to rewatch and maybe I’ll love it then.

Thoughts on The Bride of the Water God (Episodes 5-8)

I recently shared my thoughts on the first four episodes on The Bride of the Water God here.  I shared my thoughts on how the drama failed to really engage my interest in the first four episodes. Nonetheless, I believed that the drama has potential and it was too early to judge the drama based on the first four episodes so I continued watching the drama.

I am glad that I continued watching the drama because things started to get interesting from Episode 5. The plot thickens and the drama gets exciting. So far, I love how the story is going. I’m starting to think that the plot is really well-planned. I like how the plot progresses.

I also like how the characters are evolving. I loved it when there’s more to the character than our first impressions. I was quite annoyed with Yoon So Ah in the first few episodes but when her past was shown, I can’t help but sympathize with her. We also get to see a more carefree side to her which makes me think there’s really more to this character. The character of Habaek has developed as well though there’s still consistency. Even when Habaek starts caring for So Ah, he’s still the right amount of mysterious and aloof. The other deities, Bi Ryeom and Moo Ra are different from my first impressions of them. Bi Ryeom and Moo Ra are more interesting than I initially thought. I like how the events twisted like this. We get to know more about these deities which is one of the exciting things about this drama.

I also love how the relationship between the two leads are evolving. I love how their relationship has no instant love involved, they are slowly getting to know and liking each other. They are starting to care for each other which I really liked.

They were also able to introduce mysteries in these episodes. This is the reason why I love fantasy dramas. I love mysteries and I often love how they unfold. Starting from Episode 5, there are answers but there’s also a new mystery.

Unlike other fantasy dramas like Goblin and Legend of the Blue Sea, this drama does not have much romantic comedy feel to it. I feel like even with cute moments, the love story will be more on the melodrama type.

After watching Episode 8, I think this drama is worth checking out. The strength of this drama will be in its mysteries and plot and I really hope that it won’t disappoint.

 

 

 

 

Korean Drama Review: Descendants of the Sun

Descendants of the Sun tells the love story of Captain Yoo Shi Jin, a soldier, and Kang Mo Yeon, a doctor.

Descendants of the Sun was a huge success. When it aired last 2016, everyone I know was talking about it. During it’s airing, it seemed like it was the only thing people were talking about. To be honest, I only decided to watch it more than a year after it has aired. I like to watch famous dramas when it’s popularity has cooled down. Furthermore, with Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo’s engagement announcement, I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer.

I have to admit that Descendants of the Sun is not as great as I thought it would but I really loved Descendants of the Sun nonetheless. The plot was indeed interesting. Can a soldier and a doctor make it work? I think the plot revolves around this question, at least in the perspective of Doctor Kang Mo Yeon. Throughout the drama, she was very hesitant on dating a soldier because it would really be difficult to be with a man who can one day not come back from work. It’s really interesting but I don’t believe this drama is successful because of it’s plot. I think the strength of this drama is its unpredictability. That time when Yoo Shi Jin told Kang Mo Yeon to save the patient and pulls out his gun. What a shock! Totally didn’t expect that. And when he asked about what he should with the kiss, should he apologize or should he confess? Who would expect that? Swoon-worthy! That is why I think the shock factor is the best quality of this drama. The shock factor kept the viewers interested and hooked them.

The best decision the people behind this drama made is casting Song Joong Ki as Yoo Shi Jin. The charm of this man is undeniable. This drama has lots of moments when delivery is the key just like that “should I apologize or confess” line. These kinds of lines heavily relies on the skill and charm of the actor. Song Joong Ki is very successful in giving us the feels.

Overall, the drama is far from perfect but still, you can’t help but love it!

Korean Drama Review: Two Worlds

Two Worlds is about Oh Yeon Joo, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Kang Chul who is a main character of a popular webtoon. The conflict starts when Oh Yeon Joo gets dragged into the world of the webtoon and becomes an important character in the webtoon.

With its unique concept, I found this drama very refreshing. The concept of a world apart from where we live in caught my interest from the very start. This drama hooked me from the very beginning. This drama is fast-paced and a lot of things are happening in an episode. The episodes are full of action and thrill that you’ll always ask “What will happen next?”. Not one episode was boring and I was always eager to start another episode. Apart from the thrill, this drama will also make you laugh and make your heart flutter. There are lots of cute scenes and with Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo as the leads, the cute scenes are even more adorable. There are also lots of scenes where you’re just going to cry. Oh Yeon Joo and Kang Chul went through a lot they’re like starcrossed lovers. With every obstacle they face, you’ll wonder how they are going to get through it. You will also constantly wonder how this drama would end. Can two people from two different worlds actually end up happy together?

Now, let’s talk about the leads – Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo. These two are perfect for their roles. Lee Jong Suk’s looks and expressions gave me a vibe that he might be from a webtoon. There’s a mystery and charm to him that seems like a magnet for my affections. Han Hyo Joo, for me, is also commendable. Oh Yeon Joo cried a lot in this drama. With Han Hyo Joo’s acting, I couldn’t help but cry with her. These two are good individually but together, they’re awesome. There’s a strong connection and chemistry between them that every scene felt natural. They really look adorable together, I was rooting for them to be together since the very beginning. I’ve watched behind the scenes as well and the two leads seem to be getting along very well.

Overall, I really liked this drama. Every minute spent watching this is worth it. It was a roller coaster of emotion and I really loved the ride. I highly recommend this to everyone!

Korean Drama Review: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

The drama starts when a woman, Go Ha-Jin played by IU, from the 21st century was transported back  in time during the reign of King Taejo, the first king of Goryeo. She awakes in the body of Lady Hae Soo, a noblewoman living in that time.  Realizing that there is no way to get back in her own time, Hae Soo tries to adjust to living in Goryeo not knowing that she and her knowledge of the future will play a big part in history.

I found this korean drama in a list of korean dramas with the saddest endings. To be honest, I was very hesitant to watch this korean drama, sad endings aren’t really my thing. In addition to that, this drama had low ratings since it’s in the same timeslot as Love in the Moonlight. Nonetheless, I decided to try this korean drama. After watching this drama, I am both thankful and regretful of that decision.

Why am I thankful I watched this drama?

This drama is one of the best korean drama I have ever seen. I don’t think I felt this much emotion in a korean drama before. From the first episode until the last, I was in a rollercoaster of emotions. I was laughing for some time then I will cry a few minutes after. I have not seen a korean drama with so much substance as Scarlet Heart. You’ll just find yourself deeply immersed in the scene because everything is just so good. You’re going to laugh with them, cry with them and love with them. Every episode will really get you hooked. I had to take a break in the last few episodes though. Things got really heavy near the end that I had to watch cute and fun stuff to buffer my emotions. That’s how intense and great this drama is.

Another reason I love this drama is because of the characters. The drama explored every character deeply. As the drama progressed, you will realize that there is more to the character that meets the eye. There’s more than one side of them and the drama showed it to us in such a great way.  The male lead of the drama, 4th prince Wang So played by Lee Joon-Gi, was not the typical righteous hero. He had commendable heroic moments like how he defended the Crown Prince but he is also capable of doing dreadful things. Because he is imperfect, I think he’s a perfect character. The female lead is far from perfect either. Hae Soo actually made a lot of bad decisions until the very end. It doesn’t stop there. I think all characters here are great. I felt like there were more than just characters. Because the drama shows more than one side of them, you can connect to them well and have understanding of the character. I understood even the reasons behind the villain’s action. The well-written characters are then strengthened by the actors playing them. The acting here is commendable especially Lee Joon-Gi. Every emotions is evident in his face that you can’t help but be immersed in the drama even more than you already was.

Why am I regretful?

You must be wondering… If I love the drama so much, why did I say that I am also regretful of watching it? Just because of the ending. The blogger who said this is one of the saddest endings is not lying.Don’t get me wrong, I really think that the ending is beautiful. Still, the ending left me shocked and heartbroken. I feel like Wang So and Hae Soo’s story shouldn’t end like that. I desperately want a Season 2 even if it’s highly unlikely.

Overall…

Overall, I think this drama is close to perfection. I don’t think I will forget this any time soon. I think it will always be one of my favorites.

Movie Review: The Beauty Inside

The Beauty Inside is a 2015 korean film based on a 2012 american film of the same name. The Beauty Inside is about Kim Woo Jin who changes his appearance every time he wakes up. His appearance may be of a woman or a man. He may be old or young. He may be of a different race. After years of this condition, Kim Woo Jin has accepted his life until he met Yi Soo, portrayed by Han Hyo Joo, who he fell in love with instantly. This movie mainly focuses on how Yi Soo adjusts into being in a relationship who is a different person every day.

Some movies give you a roller coaster of emotion. You’ll feel many emotions at the same time like there’s a storm coming and you’re in a boat in the middle of the ocean. For this movie, you are just sailing in a calm and beautiful day. Throughout the movie, everything feels like calm. It really didn’t connect to me much. It didn’t really make me feel anything. The emotions felt while watching this movie is just superficial. That is why, even with its high concept, the movie is just underwhelming.

Even when the movie is not great, it’s not bad at all though. I guess the reason for that is Han Hyo Joo who is just perfect for the role. Han Hyo Joo’s face is one of the most beautiful faces there is for me. Her beauty is both simple and elegant and you can see kindness in her eyes. Yi Soo is supposed to be a character with pure heart who can look beyond appearances and love what’s within. Han Hyo Joo was able to portray this character very well and I’m guessing she did it effortlessly too. All the actors who played Kim Woo Jin are commendable too. Because of their acting, it was believable that there is one person inside all those appearances.

I guess I will recommend this movie to people who are looking for something easy to watch. If you just want to lie in bed and relax while watching a movie, this movie will be great for you.